Orthodontic Treatment Using Braces
There are many benefits to braces other than the obvious appearance changes. Having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can cause many problems. Properly cleaning the teeth can be a lot harder when some tooth surfaces are inaccessible or harder to reach. This can accelerate tooth decay and lead to gum disease. Bite problems may contribute to things such as difficulty eating and speech impairments. Even head and neck pain may be more common due to excessive strain on supporting tooth structures. The earlier you get orthodontic treatment, the better. This maximizes the effects of the treatment and lowers the risk of orthodontic relapse (teeth returning to their previous position).
Advancements have allowed patients to feel more comfortable with their smile during treatment. Apart from metal braces, clear and tooth colored brackets are available to help eliminate the “metal-mouth” look, heat-activated wires that and require less adjusting than traditional wire, and some patients may even be good candidates for Invisalign; a treatment that uses transparent, removable trays to straighten teeth.
Reasons for braces
- Breathing or swallowing problems
- Jaw pain
- Overjet (protruding upper teeth)
- Cosmetic purposes
- Speech, chewing or biting problems
Note: Discourage your children from thumb sucking as it can lead to many of these problems.
Phases of treatment
1. Planning Phase – The planning phases involves these first steps and more:
- Evaluation of oral and overall health and history
- Molds of your teeth
- Photographs are taken to aid in the treatment
2. Active Phase – After braces or other treatment are applied, you will visit your orthodontist regularly to adjust your appliance based specifically on your treatment plan.
3. Retention Phase – Once you have completed treatment, your braces will be removed and another appliance will be made to help retain your new smile. This new appliance is usually a retainer. Your orthodontist will put you on a schedule for your retainer, and you will bring your retainers in whenever adjustments are necessary.
Orthodontics can help give you confidence in your smile AND your health!